Intel’s Arc A GPUs, namely the Arc A770 and the A750 hit the shelves last week. These GPUs surprisingly did pack quite the punch, sometimes even dethroning NVIDIA and AMD’s budget offerings. However, the lack of proper driver support and the relatively new architecture has held them back. Similarly, these GPUs were reportedly consuming 40-50W at idle, as was the case with the GUNNIR A770 8GB.
Intel To The Rescue
Team blue responded to these issues and have proposed a solution. Now, bear in mind this solution is not driver-enabled so users will have to manually change their settings.
For optimal power consumption, configure the BIOS as follows:
- Allow OS controlled ASPM by setting Native ASPM to Enabled.
- Enable PCI Express root port ASPM and select L1 Substates.
After tinkering with the BIOS, a few optimizations are required for the Windows Power Plan;
Configure Windows* Power settings as follows:
- Go to Start > System > Power & sleep.
- Click on Additional power settings.
- Select your preferred plan and click on Change plan settings.
- Click on Change advanced power settings.
- Look for PCI Express.
- Click on the ‘+‘ sign next to PCI Express to expand the options.
- Click on the ‘+‘ sign next to Link State Power Management to expand the options.
- Select Maximum power savings as the Setting using the drop-down menu.
Intel states that ASPM (Active-state power management) is a power management utility that allows PCIe devices i.e GPUs to save power when not being utilized. Under this system, we have 2 low power modes namely;
Basically, the Arc A GPUs require these low power modes to be forced via the software. It is not clear why Intel is not opting for a direct driver level implementation. In addition, Intel did mention that displays having refresh rates higher than 60Hz require higher boost clocks resulting in additional power draw. This means that based on the screen resolution and refresh rate, your mileage may vary.